Join us this summer as we read the Bible together as a community! Read the brief devotional, reflect on Scripture, spend a few moments in prayer, journal about the reflection questions, and interact with us through the Comments feature. We pray this is a meaningful time of spiritual growth and community building for our Breathe sisters!
Nicodemus thought he was doing everything right. He was a Pharisee, a religious leader of the time, and upheld every Jewish law in the book. He had Scripture memorized and was a part of the prestigious Jewish council — a group of leaders who made important decisions for the religious community. He was revered for his knowledge of the Bible. Nicodemus was doing all the right things and knew the right information about God, but he didn’t know God.
Nicodemus saw Jesus teaching at the temple and, regardless of the other religious leaders’ opposition of Jesus’s teaching, Nicodemus wanted to know more. In John 3, Nicodemus snuck out in the dead of night to meet Jesus and hear more about what Jesus was teaching. His curiosity and desire to understand Jesus’s teachings lead to more than he bargained for. Jesus boldly told him that only through being born again could he truly know God.
Though Nicodemus had an encounter with Jesus that night, it wasn’t until he and Joseph buried Jesus’s body that he went public with his faith. Change for Nicodemus happened steadily over time, and that’s OK! God isn’t looking for instant perfection in our relationships with Him. God is after our growth, and growth takes time.
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
1) Relationships take time and effort. How intentional are you about getting to know Jesus?
2) Are you growing in your relationship with Jesus? How has your faith grown since you first met Jesus?
3) What steps can you take today to continue growing in your relationship with Jesus?
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